Memories of childhood: on the LP covers in my parents’ hi-fi cabinet, his name appeared particularly often - whether it was an album of operettas or of Christmas songs. His face and voice were indeed familiar to “every child,” since Hermann Prey, who was born in Berlin in 1929, was not just a classical singer, but also a media star. And this during an era long before the internet and social media, when big musical TV entertainment shows were still a part of popular culture.
Schubert lover Hermann Prey had no reservations regarding entertainment, at a time when so-called serious and popular music were seen by many music consumers as strictly separate realms. So many classical music lovers were likely irritated when the always prolific artist would record Schubert Lieder right before coming out with a new folk song LP; this versatility characterized his career from the very beginning up to his death in 1998. With a twinkle in his eye, he summed up this career in the following words: “I’m not a serious (German: “E”) singer, and I’m not an entertainment (German: “U”) singer either - I’m an EU singer!”